AWARD-WINNING NEW MEXICO FOLKLORIST NASARIO GARCÍA & THE RÍO PUERCO VILLAGES OF HIS YOUTH ARE THE SUBJECT OF A NEW DOCUMENTARY
Nasario remembers the Río Puerco is a new documentary that follows celebrated folklorist Nasario García doing what he loves: wandering through landscape and memory amid the ghosts towns of New Mexico’s Rio Puerco valley, reviving recuerdos of his youth when the ranching villages thrived and viejitos elders told stories beside a river that once ran.
The campaign has just launched a outreach and Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that invites audiences to support the editing of the film for broadcast consideration. New Mexico PBS has expressed interest in airing the film. From December 14, to January 31, we will share a series of trailers, posters and video clips from the film, interactive Share Your Recuerdos/Memories writings and discussions on social media, and distinctive perks for donating including a guided trip with Dr. García to the Rio Puerco valley.
The Hispanic villages of the Río Puerco valley, located near Cuba NM, and southeast of Chaco Canyon, thrived between the 1900s to the 1950s. Using interviews with Dr. García, oral histories, archival photos and evocative footage of the landscape, this hour-long film recalls the stillness and vividness of a tactile past, one that the landscape and the ruins still remember. The film is directed by Shebana Coelho, who previously adapted Dr. García’s first book of oral histories into the stage play, When The Stars Trembled in Río Puerco that was performed to full house audiences at Santa Fe’s Teatro Paraguas and Albuquerque’s National Hispanic Cultural Center.
“I imagine this film as an encounter about land and memory,” she says, “about home and belonging, and that mysterious feeling that has drawn people to New Mexico for ages – because the stories are alive on this land and when a storyteller arrives, and the listeners gather, the land offers up its own memories. Do ruins remember us? I believe they do. And especially in this current climate, I believe, more than ever, we need stories of diverse voices reconnecting us to community, story and spirit.” Coelho is an award-winning director and writer whose documentaries have been broadcast on PBS, Discovery Channel, and BBC Radio, among others. (www.shebanacoelho.com)
The film will be edited by Shelene Bridge, who is also Vice-President of New Mexico Women in Film. An award-winning filmmaker and accomplished editor, Ms. Bridge says, “I’m looking forward to working on a documentary that reaches into New Mexico’s past and delves into our rich and vibrant communities.”
The fiscal sponsor for the film is New Mexico Film Foundation, whose executive director is Dirk Norris. The film is presented by the multimedia oral history project, Recuerdos Vivos New Mexico/Living Memories. For more information, please visit www.nasarioremembers.com, Facebook @NasarioRemembers or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT NASARIO GARCÍA
Folklorist and native New Mexican Nasario García grew up in the small village of Ojo del Padre or Guadalupe in the Rio Puerco valley, northwest of Albuquerque. Over the last few decades, he has published over 30 award-winning oral histories, children’s stories and fiction about his beloved Río Puerco valley. His memoir: Hoe Heaven and Hell: My Boyhood in rural New Mexico wasawarded First Place for best autobiography at the International Latino Book Awards and “Best Book on New Mexico” at the New Mexico/Arizona Books Awards . Dr. García is the recipient of the first ever Lifetime Achievement award from the Historical Society of New Mexico. He currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His website is www.nasariogarciaphd.com
ABOUT SHEBANA COELHO
Shebana Coelho is a writer and director, originally from India, now living in New Mexico. Her work spans genres, from documentary to fiction, theatre to poetry. Her documentary work has been broadcast on American Public Television, National Public Radio, The Discovery Channel, and BBC Radio Four and has received a Telly award and a South Asian Journalists’ Association (SAJA) Best Documentary Award. Her poems, stories and articles have appeared in domestic and international journals. She received a Fiction Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), and a Fulbright grant to Mongolia. She wrote and directed When The Stars Trembled in Río Puerco, an oral history play, adapted from the work of Nasario García about life in four now ghost towns in the Rio Puerco valley (April 2014, Teatro Paraguas, September 2014, National Hispanic Cultural Center.) Her website is shebanacoelho.com